During the 2007 summer holidays I was on the weather desk for Seven News and when covering complicated weather systems, I would call the Bureau of Meteorology to talk about the details, I’d speak to Tony Auden. I discovered Tony was a fellow surfer, and we’d often talk about potential cyclone swells and the chance of perfect winds. 8 years later, fate would have it, that meteorologist Tony Auden would become the weekday weather presenter for Seven News. It was a move unprecedented for a Queensland network, where so often weather stories lead the news bulletins. When you think of drought in the outback, torrential summer downpours, cyclones, swells that destroy our beaches, bushfires and of course the Brisbane floods of 2011, it’s pretty evident that having the knowledge and forecast capabilities of a meteorologist in a news room is a huge asset to informing a network’s viewers. Lunch with Liz caught up with Tony, at Ole Fuego, at Indooroopilly Shopping Centre.
Did you watch Married at First Sight? How much attention did you pay to the celebrant? If I can give any bride to be advice, it’s don’t just willy-nilly pick a celebrant off Google. I believe your choice in celebrant impacts the atmosphere of your ceremony. Meet and personally choose someone who resonates with you and your partner as a couple, because essentially, this is the person who will pronounce you man and wife! Lunch with Liz caught up with Shane Vincent at Summer Grove Estate, Carool (a beautiful wedding venue and restaurant just over the Queensland border) to delve a little deeper into what makes a good celebrant and tips for picking yours.
Have you been watching The Australian Swimming Championships on Channel Seven? I have with my heart in my mouth! I said to my husband Ryan last night, “I think I’d feel more pressure on the blocks in Adelaide, than I would in Rio”! Knowing that this swim, this moment, is your ticket into the 2016 Rio de Janerio Olympic Games. I was beyond thrilled to see Queenslander Emily Seebohm qualify, and even more chuffed when her partner Mitch Larkin made the team last night. I have no doubt that this power couple will achieve great things and I can only imagine what it must be like to share the experience with your boyfriend!
After Olympic Gold Medals at Beijing in 2008 and London in 2012, here’s to hoping it’s third time lucky for ‘C-bomb’. Lunch with Liz caught up with Emily at Aria Restaurant in Brisbane’s CBD.
Abby is an absolute pleasure to be around, her laughter is infectious and she’s the type of girl who will send you home from an hour-long lunch at 6pm! Two weeks in Brisbane filling in with Stav and Labby, would really throw a spanner in the works for Abby Coleman. That’s all it took for bosses at (then B105) HIT105 to offer her a fulltime position on the breakfast shift. Abby quickly found herself relocating, while pregnant, with her first child! There has been an on air shuffle at the network since she settled in, but Abby remains an anchor of the show, and a much-loved voice in Brisbane. Her workload has extended to appearances on Network Ten’s Have You Been Paying Attention and the Nine Network’s Weekend Today. Lunch with Liz caught up with Abby at Jellyfish Restaurant in Brisbane’s CBD. *Note to reader, the food at Jellyfish is some of the best I have ever had. Please do yourself a favour – make a booking and order the Tempura Betel Leaf. Thank you to chef MiKi Damjanovic for hosting us.
Chelsea Tuach embodies everything that is so right about women’s surfing right now. Smart, talented, driven, composed, powerful and beautiful, the list goes on. This young Roxy surfer from Barbados, is inspiring not only North American girls, but young female surfers world-wide since joining the WSL tour this year. Lunch with Liz caught up with this fellow Suzuki cars ambassador for a chat and the best Acai bowls in town, at Niche and Co in Kirra, during the Gold Coast’s Roxy Pro.
Osher Gunsberg has experienced a career most television presenters dream of. Some Australians will remember him as Andrew G, the Australian Idol presenter with the perfect hair and the hoodie under his suit jacket. Others will recognise him as the voice of Take 40 Australia. For those who know him personally, Osher is a bloke who has bucked the need to be driven by his celebrity image and has stayed true to who he is. Not always a move ‘inline with his recognisable brand’, he has transformed more than once, both publicly and privately; for instance, changing his name. Time and time again he has been given the responsibility of carrying some of Australia’s most successful shows. On Channel [V] he was part of the revolution of mixing technology, music and live interaction between a broadcaster and their audience. With Australian idol he was an innovator of elimination talent shows, and then the perfect balance of informative and unbiased delivery in Australia’s version of The Bachelor. Following a run in America, on CBS’s Live to Dance, Osher returned home. Back to the Brisbane radio station where it all began. Hosting the much-loved 105.3 Hit FM Breakfast show. Lunch with Liz caught up with him at celebrity chef Luke Nguyen’s Fat Noodle, at the Treasury Casino & Hotel, Brisbane.
With nearly 50 thousand Instagram followers, Nicole is a Gold Coast girl getting some attention. A model, author, designer, school teacher, raw food chef and following her own admissions to battling with food, a public spokesperson for healthy eating. Her website Nicole Joy Inspire, offers a rare honesty that many female followers have found motivating and relatable. Having published two successful cookbooks, ‘Life’s too short for diets’ and ‘Eat dessert for breakfast’, she is about to launch her own App, Healthy Pick, and has recently branched out into designing sports apparel. Lunch with Liz caught up with this raw food wizard at the best vegan restaurant on the Gold Coast, Greenhouse Factory, Kirra.
I’m predicting even if you do not religiously follow the Queensland Firebirds, you’ll be familiar with this sociable face by the end of the year. So, let’s kick off Lunch with Liz for 2016 with leggy blonde Gretel Tippett. Grets (as her friends call her) bounced onto a court as a WNBL (basketball) player, but after only 3 years, found herself forced to take a break due to a severe bout of Glandular fever. When her health returned it wasn’t the basketball she picked back up. After watching some tournaments on TV, she decided to try a change of code. 3 years after shooting her first hoop, she would be representing the country in Netball. Both her brothers Kurt and Joel play AFL professionally and you can only imagine what the youngest sibling had to achieve to keep up with the 6ft plus boys in the backyard. Gretel is the new breed of athlete, and in a time when brands and fans are turning to sporting star’s social media accounts, she is definitely one to follow. Lunch with Liz caught up with Gretel a few days before she flew out to England to play for the Australian Diamonds, at Yard Café, Nobbys Beach.
Well this is my last post for 2015, so it’s written in the spirit of Christmas! Thank you to everyone who has read my stories over the last couple of months. Don’t forget, you can sign up to be notified when I kick off again in the New Year by entering your email in the box on the right hand side of this page. This week, Lunch with Liz caught up with two very different Brisbane Lions players; Mitch a leader by nature, ex-Melbourne, confident, clearly a larrikin, fiancé, proud father of one with another on the way. Harris, a Brisbane boy, more softly but clearly spoken, fresh out of attending his school formal, with the world at his feet (all 6 ‘6 of them). We all caught up at Indooroopilly Shopping Centre, to lend a hand with their charity gift-wrapping. All proceeds go to the Wesley Medical Research Unit, funding childrens care. Have your presents wrapped, for a Gold Coin donation, from 10am till 8pm all this week at Indooroopilly. Here’s a read for those that love a little festive season inspiration, sport and good food. Join us at The Pig ‘N’ Whistle Dining Room, Indooroopilly Shopping Centre.
Flash back a few years, (well 9 to be precise!) I was in the unique position of being out and about with an international celebrity and I experienced my first encounter with paparazzi. There was one paparazzo with a courteous demeanour, a cute smile and a distinctly purple bob that was very memorable for me. Six years later, when at an event, I was tapped on the shoulder and politely asked if I could have my photo taken. Despite a more conservative haircut, I instantly recognized the same photographer! We struck up a conversation that night and after numerous encounters at events such as Mercedes Benz Fashion Week and a Channel Seven Network launch, a friendship began. Oliver Black has had a journey from Paparazzo to esteemed photographer. Known for his ‘life of the party’ and ‘moments that aren’t usually captured’ photos, he has become a go-to photographer for luxury lifestyle PR agencies, well-known modelling agencies, corporate brands and label giants such as Christian Dior, Lancôme, Louis Vuitton, Veuve Clicquot, Hilton Hotels, Vogue Australia… and the list goes on! Lunch with Liz caught up with Oliver at Parisian Bistro Les Bubbles. They’ve been serving quality meat since 1982 on Wickham Street in Fortitude Valley. Les Bubbles have one signature dish and they do it well.
When I met Emma at our photo-shoot, fair skinned, blue-eyed with stunning red hair, I thought ‘well here’s the perfect contrast to me, it’s easy to see why Melanoma Institute Australia paired us together for this campaign’. I spoke to camera first, about my connection to melanoma; A lifetime of fun in the sun as a competitive surfer through my teenage years and the moles that I have had cut out in return of my love for an outdoors lifestyle (all moles returned benign, but I continue to get regular skin checks all the same). Emma spoke next and everything became a bit of a blur after she opened with ‘I have terminal melanoma’. First was disbelief, ‘but you look so healthy and happy… and we’ve just been laughing together all morning, making jokes about our husbands and the awkwardness of posing for photos’. As Emma’s words flowed, I was reminded exactly why I started Lunch with Liz. To have that avenue to share the stories of ‘people of interest’! Emma’s successful blog, Dear melanoma, is an authentic glimpse into the roller coaster that is life with Stage 4 melanoma – the highs, the lows and the in-between. Lunch with Liz caught up with Emma at Darling & Co, Paddington’s newest venue, to share more of what is possibly one of the greatest love stories I’ve heard.
It’s one of the most successful television shows on our screens right now and for good reason, what homeowner doesn’t want a few tips on styling and renovations? When Deanne Jolly applied for The Block, she was a stay at home mum of eight years, living life happily behind the scenes of her AFL playing husband Darren Jolly. It was Darren’s idea to apply for The Block, but it was Deanne who has without a doubt, become one of the most talked about ‘Blockheads’ to date. The fiercely strong, what you see is what you get, creative genius, was absolutely lovely to chat with. I turned up after a morning of painting and re-rendering the front of my house (kill me now) and Deanne was quick to offer advice and generously shared her contact details for any renovation questions I might have. The Interior Stylist and winner of The Block, caught up with Lunch with Liz, for a bite to eat at Corbett & Claude at Indooroopilly Shopping Centre after sharing festive season styling tips with shoppers.
One Wybelenna is a boutique luxury Day Spa set in a lovely expansive property in Brookfield, suburban Brisbane. A couples retreat, the perfect venue to spoil a friend, host a hens party, or escape for some ‘me time’. What really strikes you when you first arrive, is the architecture of this incredible property. As soon as you walk through the doors, you’re transported into wide-open ‘breathable’ luxurious spaces. Treated to some relaxing time by the pool, before a massage and facial, Lunch with Liz enjoyed a chat to owner Heather Sartain, over a fruit platter and cleansing herbal tea.
You could rightfully say that George Calombaris was part of the initial movement which saw chefs not only come out of the kitchen, but transition into some of Australia’s most recognisable faces. The ratings success of MasterChef was unprecedented for a cooking show and now in it’s 7th season, it still remains a viewer favorite. George’s ambassadorship roles include Bulla Dairy, Vittoria Coffee and Swisse Australia. He aligns himself with the Starlight children’s foundation and he is the number 1 ticket holder for the Melbourne Victory. Lunch with Liz managed to drag George out of the kitchen (seriously it was hard to get him away from the food preparation) at Brisbane’s E’cco Bistro, for a bite to eat, chat and sneak peek at his new book ‘Greek’.
There’s a charming allure of old-Hollywood beauty and cabaret glamour to Naomi Price, but it was her performance free of any costumes, on reality TV show The Voice, that saw her become a household name earlier this year. A favorite member of team Ricky, the vocal powerhouse captured fans, as she broke down barriers between the genres of swing, jazz, opera, musical theatre and pop. This adopted Brit and her partner (former runner-up of the Voice 2013) Luke Kennedy, are becoming quite the Brisbane power-couple. A performance together in Rumour Has It, for Queensland Theatre Company and Naomi’s own The Little Red Company has resulted in an invite to perform at one of the most iconic venues in the world, the Sydney Opera House. Tickets are on sale now. Lunch with Liz caught up with Naomi at award-winning Japanese Restaurant, Saké Restaurant & Bar, Eagle Street Pier in Brisbane city.
Hold your horses, Australia’s richest race day, the Jeep Magic Millions has announced ambassadors for 2016 and I am thrilled to see Queensland’s leading female jockey, Tegan Harrison as one of the faces. Tegan is a fantastic choice for a carnival that prides itself on the involvement of women in the thoroughbred horse-racing industry, thanks to owner Katie Page-Harvey. Tegan’s mum was a jockey in a male dominated field, and growing up in Lawrence, northern New South Wales, her childhood days were filled with horses. Weighing in at an effortless 52 kilos, last year she became the first female to win back-to-back metropolitan titles. With 43 wins, she was also named apprentice of the year for the second time. Tegan joins Seven Network presenter Hamish McLachlan (the Carnival and Sales ambassador) and returning Patron of Magic Millions Racing Women, Zara Phillips MBE. Horses will jump on Saturday 9th January 2016. Lunch with Liz caught up with Tegan at Citrique Restaurant, The Marriott, Surfers Paradise.
Sitting down, enjoying lunch with Jodi is an absolute pleasure. It’s been a transition from soap star to fashion icon, for the Mackay girl, who in her first ever audition landed the role of Martha on Home & Away. Now residing in Sydney with husband (former NRL Rooster’s player Braith Anasta) the Logie winner is back on the audition circuit, after recently becoming a mother to daughter Aleeia. Her ambassador roles with Myer, the Spring Racing Carnival and Fujifilm’s Christmas campaign, all keep the 30-year-old busy. She squeezed in Lunch With Liz while recently endorsing Indooroopilly Shopping Centre’s Chase The Sun Fashion Showcase.
These days brand ambassador association is so common – think Myer, you’ll think of Jen, David Jones, Jessica Gomes, but Chloe Maxwell was ahead of the times – wearing the label, rather than the label wearing her! If you’re an 80s baby, like me, you’ll probably still think of Chloe as one of the most successful models of our generation – the Jeans West girl. These days she’s a mother of four, still making regular appearances on our screens, has followed a career on FOX 8 with an acting role in Australian feature Under the Radar, the reality singing contest It Takes Two and a best-selling biography Living with Max. More recently she stood on the sideline holding the sweat towel for husband, former dual international Union and League great, Mat Rogers’ successful stint on Dancing With The Stars. Lunch with Liz caught up with Chloe at the new Surfers Paradise The 4217 precinct, for a bite to eat at Salt Meats Cheese.
Valley Eyewear seems to be the future of fashionable frames, and behind this booming brand, are a married Gold Coast couple, raising their 4 and 2 year old children, Dash and Seylah.
These handmade, high-end frames, have found international stardom on the likes of fashion savvy celebrities walking the streets of Paris and New York.
This story starts in an almost fairytale manner. Michael was made redundant from his position with an Australian surf label. His wife Tenielle’s redundancy came 8 months later. On their kitchen bench, armed with a lead pencil and ruler, Michael drafted his first pair of Valley sunglasses.
Just months later Tenielle was negotiating sales as she was wheeled into a hospital ward to give birth.
Lunch with Liz caught up with Tenielle at popular Gold Coast restaurant, Fishhouse, ahead of Valley’s launch of its new custom prescription optical range.
Lets be honest, even our most successful reality TV stars have a tendency to drop off the face of the earth. Some win, a couple make headlines, others grace the pages of our weekly glossy magazines, most become yesterday’s news all too quickly.
However, a handful forge a media career long past 15 minutes. Tim Dormer is one of the lucky ones – although there’s an old saying ‘if you want more luck take more chances’. Tim took a chance joining the Big Brother House, 101 days later he would walk out $250,000 richer, but that wasn’t the end for him. Regular appearances on The Today Show, a YouTube channel with over 15,000 followers, documentaries such as The Graceland Happiness Project (airs on ABC, Oct 8th during Mental Health Week) and he stars as a member of this season’s cast of Celebrity Apprentice, on telly tonight! Lunch with Liz caught up with Tim ahead of a very special trip to Botswana, just over the border at a restaurant we’re claiming as our own, Three Blue Ducks, The Farm, Byron Bay.